Previous Section Index Home Page

Working Time Directive

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in implementing the working time directive within the NHS. [120237]

Mr. Denham: Good progress is being made. Agreements have been reached with the General Whitley Council and the British Medical Association, to cover all National Health Service staff on nationally negotiated terms and conditions, other than junior doctors who are currently exempt from the working time regulations. The aim of these agreements is to make maximum use of the available flexibilities to allow local arrangements to be established so that the Directive can be implemented smoothly without adversely affecting service provision.

In addition, the NHS Executive issued supporting guidance in November 1998 (Health Service Circular 1998/204). Further advice was issued on 20 December 1999, to clarify certain legal aspects, and continued support and advice is available to help local managers resolve practical issues that arise.

We expect all NHS employers to be in a position to implement the regulations in their entirety shortly.

2 May 2000 : Column: 56W

Children (Physical Punishment)

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to ensure public awareness of his document, entitled "The Physical Punishment of Children". [120186]

Mr. Hutton: We launched the consultation paper "Protecting Children, Supporting Parents: A Consultation Paper on the Physical Punishment of children" at a press conference on 18 January. It received extensive media coverage that day, and was widely reported in the media subsequently. The document was also made available on the DH website.

In addition, a number of children's organisations have run campaigns associated with the consultation throughout the consultation period and a number of publications with specialist and family interests have featured articles about the issues involved.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government will allow a longer time for public response to their consultation on the document, entitled "The Physical Punishment of Children". [120185]

Mr. Hutton: The consultation paper "Protecting Children, Supporting Parents: A Consultation Paper on the Physical Punishment of Children" was issued on 18 January and responses were asked for by 21 April.

While we are not proposing any formal extension to the consultation period we will take account of any responses received before the analysis of the responses is completed.

Residential and Nursing Homes

Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial provision is made to local authorities in respect of residents who have placed themselves in residential or nursing homes and whose capital has declined to £16,000. [120073]

Mr. Hutton: Residential and nursing home care services are funded through the Revenue Support Grant. We do not make any specific financial provision in respect of residents who have placed themselves in residential or nursing homes and whose capital has declined to £16,000. At this point the local authority can undertake an assessment and, if necessary, step in to take over arrangements to ensure that the resident is not forced to use up capital below £16,000 beyond his assessed level.

Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residents in residential or nursing homes in each shire county in England, who placed themselves in such homes, are now funded by the local authority; and if he will estimate the cost to each local authority in the current financial year. [120075]

Mr. Hutton: Information in the form requested is not collected centrally. However, the number of residents supported by local authorities is at Table S3 in the Statistical Bulletin "Community Care Statistics 1999 Residential Personal Social Services for adults, England". Copies of this publication are available in the Library.


Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms are in place to monitor the number of people suffering an adverse reaction to aspartame. [120498]

2 May 2000 : Column: 57W

Ms Stuart: The scientific data on aspartame are kept under continual review by scientific experts within the Food Standards Agency and, when necessary, independent expert advice is sought. In fact the safety of aspartame has been extensively reviewed by independent experts both in the United Kingdom and other European Member States and is considered safe to use for the general population. However, it is a legal requirement for all foods containing aspartame to be clearly labelled as containing a source of phenylalanine.


Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed of 4 January, concerning the length of time a constituent is waiting for treatment for angina. [120591]

Ms Stuart: My right hon. Friend will reply to the right hon. Member's letter as soon as possible.

NHS Appointments

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) on how many occasions since the publication of the Fritchie report on NHS appointments hon. Members have been asked to comment on shortlists for appointments to (a) health authorities, (b) NHS trusts and (c) primary care trusts; [120283]

Ms Stuart: Since 22 March when the Fritchie report was published, 56 submissions for 101 posts have been received by Ministers.

These included recommendations for 11 chairs and shortlists for non-executives which included 24 councillors.

The selection process at regional level had already been largely completed before 22 March so it is fair to assume that hon. Members were consulted on all 11 chair appointments in the usual way.

Drug Companies

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what checks he makes on the financial contributions made by drug companies to organisations that make representations to him. [120376]

Ms Stuart: It is neither practicable nor appropriate to check on the sources of income of every organisation that makes representations to the Department. In cases where the Department is contemplating financial support for an organisation, checks of this kind are made. It should be noted that the pharmaceutical industry offers support to organisations or their objectives in various ways other than direct financial contributions, and these must also be taken into account.


Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many qualified nurses left the profession

2 May 2000 : Column: 58W

within one year of completing their initial training in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement on the impact of this loss of trained nurses on patient care. [120398]

Mr. Denham: This information is not collected centrally. We recognise the contribution nurses make to patient care and we are therefore committed to encouraging them to stay in the National Health Service once they have qualified. NHS employers are becoming more flexible with the working patterns they are offering, thus allowing nurses to balance their lives at work and home. The number of qualified nurses working in the NHS increased by over 5,500 between September 1998 and September 1999.

Health Authority Allocations

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each health authority in England in rank order its allocation for 2000-01, including the expenditure announced on 28 March, expressed (a) per head of population, and (b) per household. [120274]

Mr. Denham: The average allocation per household in England for 2000-01 is £1,631. The number of households in each health authority is not available.

The allocation per weighted head of population in each health authority is given in the table.

All figures include the additional £660 million announced on 28 March.

Health authority2000-01 allocation per weighted head of population
Isle of Wight736
Bexley and Greenwich729
Redbridge and Waltham Forest714
Morecambe Bay710
Camden and Islington710
Kingston and Richmond706
West Surrey706
East Kent705
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove705
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham705
Brent and Harrow704
East Surrey703
South Lancashire702
Salford and Trafford701
South Humber701
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly701
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth700
South and West Devon698
North and East Devon697
Newcastle and North Tyneside696
North Cheshire694
West Kent694
Barking and Havering694
South Cheshire694
North and Mid Hampshire693
Enfield and Haringey691
West Hertfordshire691
North Cumbria691
East Riding689
North West Lancashire688
Southampton and South West Hampshire688
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow688
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire688
Bury and Rochdale687
North Essex687
Calderdale and Kirklees687
South Staffordshire686
West Sussex684
North Derbyshire684
North Yorkshire684
St. Helens and Knowsley684
East Lancashire683
Gateshead and South Tyneside682
East and North Hertfordshire679
North Staffordshire678
South Essex677
South Derbyshire677
West Pennine676
County Durham674
North Nottinghamshire672
Wigan and Bolton667
East London and the City666
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster637
England total688

2 May 2000 : Column: 60W

Next Section Index Home Page